YMYL is a Your Money or Your Life Page. These are pages which could potentially impact the future happiness, health, or wealth of users.
According to Google’s 2014 Quality Rater Guidelines, this is what YMYL is. While I can not post exact details of Google’s confidential rater guidelines here, I will discuss them in my own words without giving away any proprietary information. YMYL pages may be common sense to some people. YMYL pages include websites with information on them pertaining to:
- Shopping and Financial Transaction Pages. These are pages which allow users to transfer sums of money or pay their bills online. This includes online eCommerce shops, banking websites, and bill paying websites.
- Financial Information Pages. These are webpages which discuss or provide information regarding investments, taxes, retirement, financial planning, college investments, purchasing insurance, etc.
- Medical Information Pages. These are webpages which provide advice or information on health, drugs, diseases, nutrition, etc.
- Legal Information Pages. These are webpages which provide legal advice on topics like divorce, child custody, will creation, citizenship, etc.
- Other. Car safety information, child adoption, and other pages which could provide information on things which could potentially negatively impact a person’s future.
YMYL websites need to have a high degree of trust. Non YMYL websites do not need as much trust. For example, your bank’s website, or a website selling something should have the following pages:
- About us. This is a page which explains the corporation or owner of the company. A medical site for example, should provide a doctor’s name and credentials.
- Customer Service Contact Information. The amount of information here depends on the type of business. An email address isn’t going to be enough information for an eCommerce site.
- Information about who is responsible for the website’s content and maintenance.
A high quality YMYL page will have updated pages if applicable. This means content will be kept current, and up to date, and display content publish dates. eCommerce sites may have user reviews and offer comprehensive content about the product they are offering. A tax forms page may be hosted on a federal government website which would be considered authoritative and trustworthy.
Low quality YMYL pages include:
- Malicious pages.
- Deceptive pages which induce clicks on paid advertisements. (Paid advertisements are ok, but the primary purpose of the page should be it’s content, not the advertisements.)
- Websites with sneaky redirects.
- Websites with a poor reputation (negative reviews).
- Untrustworthy websites (such as a page with medical information with no authorship information).
- Unmaintained Pages.
- Pages with grammar or spelling errors.
- Pages with incorrect information.
YMYL pages should have a high level of E-A-T (Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness).
I also personally include privacy policies on sites that I work on.
Questions? Leave ‘em in the comments below.